UPDATE (5/15/22 1:33 p.m.) — One day after 18-year-old Payton Gendron of Broome County was taken into custody for allegedly shooting and killing ten people and injuring three others at a Buffalo supermarket, officials outlined what they know, so far, about his actions.

On Sunday afternoon, Governor Kathy Hochul, State Attorney General Letita James and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown joined law enforcement leaders from Buffalo to update the media.

Buffalo Police Commissioner, Joseph Gramaglia, says it appears Gendron first arrived in Buffalo on Friday, scouting the Buffalo area and the grocery store.

Investigators believe Gendron chose the Tops on Jefferson Avenue because he believed he would encounter the most African-Americans there.

Gramaglia described the mass shooting as an “absolute racist hate crime” and Gendron as “someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind.”

Gendron, who police say acted alone, had an encounter with police in June of 2021. ABC News is reporting that Gendron was asked, along with other classmates, to write a paper about what he planned to do after graduation from Susquehanna Valley High School in Conklin, near Binghamton. The response in his paper referenced committing murder-suicide and that is what prompted the referral to New York State Police.

Gendron was taken into custody under NYS Mental Health Law section 9.41 and transported to the hospital for a mental health evaluation. No criminal charges were filed. 

According to ABC News, Gendron legally purchased the Bushmaster XM15 rifle allegedly used to carry out the attack from a firearms dealer in Endicott, New York. According to their sources, investigators found the names of previous mass shooters and racial slurs etched on the gun. They say two other weapons, a pistol and a shotgun, were found in Gendron’s car.

Governor Kathy Hochul says the rifle was modified by what is called an “enhanced magazine,” which is illegal in New York.

Hochul says surrounding states like Pennsylvania, which is less than six miles from Conklin, makes it easy for someone like Gendron to obtain the weapons necessary to commit these heinous crimes. The Governor says while she will need help from those states to tighten their gun laws, she is fighting to make sure this type of crime ends with Saturday’s slaying.

“It is white supremacy, hatred and terrorism and it stops right now in Buffalo,” Hochul said.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James echoed those sentiments. James, who vowed to pursue those who spew hate via social media platforms, told reporters that she met with one of the survivors of the shooting on Sunday, holding her in her arms while the victim detailed her thoughts of how she was going to die.

“This event was committed by a sick, demented individual who was fueled by a daily diet of hate,” James said.

“Love, and only love, will overcome hate,” she added.

Law enforcement leaders also credited local law enforcement with their quick response, saying it likely saved more lives.

The first 911 call came in at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and the first officer arrived on scene at 2:31 p.m.

Officers, armed only with handguns, engaged Gendron, who police say was armed with an assault rifle and wearing a vest and tactical helmet.

Investigators say Gendron put his gun under his chin, with the intent of taking his own life, but officers used de-escalation techniques to talk him down, before taking him into custody.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WSYR/WIVB) – The Erie County District Attorney’s Office released the mugshot of 18-year-old Payton Gendron on Sunday.

Gendron, from the Broome County community of Conklin, was arraigned on Saturday evening before a Buffalo City Court Judge on one count of first-degree murder.

In a Sunday morning video update, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said his office will ensure a complete and thorough investigation.

DA Flynn stressed the investigation remains active and there is evidence Gendron could face a terrorism charge based on penal law.

“We have evidence that may, potentially lead us to a terrorism charge.”

JOHN FLYNN, ERIE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY

DA Flynn said it is alleged that on Saturday afternoon around 2:30 p.m., Gendron drove to the Tops Friendly Markets on Jefferson Avenue near Riley Street in the City of Buffalo with the intent to commit a crime.

Gendron, who was allegedly wearing tactical gear and armed with an assault weapon, is accused of intentionally shooting four people outside of the grocery store. Three of the four victims died from their injuries.

Payton Gendron (18), alleged gunman – Photo Credit: Erie County District Attorney’s Office

Gendron is then accused of entering the store, where he exchanged gunfire with an armed security guard, who was a retired member of the Buffalo Police Department. The security guard died from his injuries.

Gendron allegedly then shot eight more people inside of the store. Six died from their injuries. Two others were injured.

Gendron was quickly taken into custody by responding officers.

“This is a tragic day in the City of Buffalo. This defendant is accused of traveling to our area and targeting innocent people who were shopping for their groceries on a Saturday afternoon. I continue to pray for all affected by this horrific crime. I am committed to obtaining justice for the victims, their families and this community. My office is working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners in law enforcement into potential terrorism and hate crimes. This is an active investigation and additional charges may be filed,” said Erie County DA John Flynn.

Gendron is scheduled to return to court on Thursday at 9:30am for a felony hearing. He is being held without bail.

If convicted of the charge, Gendron faces maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.